People often write wills while they’re still alive so that when they pass on, their relatives or loved ones would be able to inherit the wealth that these individuals leave behind. But who knew that someone’s will could contain a death wish for their pet?
Apparently they can, as Channel News Asia recently reported that a woman in Virginia, USA put in her will that she wanted her pet dog to be euthanised and buried with her when she died. What?!
Emma, a healthy Shih Tzu, was brought to Chesterfield County Animal Shelter in Chesterfield Virginia on 8th March and was kept there for two weeks following the death of her owner.
During this period of time, the shelter constantly tried to persuade the executor of the dead woman’s estate to keep the dog alive. However, their attempts proved to be in vain as the executor arrived at the shelter on 22nd March to collect the dog.
“We did suggest they could sign the dog over on numerous occasions, because it’s a dog we could easily find a home for and re-home,” said Carrie Jones, manager of Chesterfield Animal Services.
“But ultimately, they came back in on 22nd March and redeemed the dog.”
When the executor arrived at the shelter, the workers there once again offered to have the dog signed over or to have it adopted by someone else, but the executor declined their offer and took Emma to a local veterinarian where she was euthanised and subsequently brought to a local pet cremation centre.
Emma’s ashes were then placed in an urn and returned to the “authorised representative of the estate”.
This whole incident has sent many into a debate about the law and whether it is legal to euthanise a perfectly healthy pet, will or not.
According to People, Jason D. Smolen, an estate planning attorney and the co-founding principal of SmolenPlevy in Vienna, Virginia, said that because pets are property in the eyes of the law, it is legal for the owner of a pet to “dispose of them in their will as they would during their lives.”
“But legal is not the same as ethical/moral and the law may change as a result of these types of cases,” he said.
RIP Emma, you poor thing. What do you think of this woman’s dying wish? Should the authorities have handled the situation any differently? Let us know in the comments below.
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